Festive jewellery shopping! Demand for solitaire, engagement rings, kid’s jewellery at all time high: Avnish Anand, CaratLane

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September 01, 2021 1:48 PM

Remember, there’s a huge shift in the jewellery business with the rise of digital payments, as opposed to the conservative approach of shelling out cash to buy jewellery.

Avnish AnandAvnish Anand, Co-Founder at CaratLane and Chief Operating Officer

Wondering how to buy jewellery smartly this festive season! Notably, there’s a method on how to buy jewellery smartly and the festive season is a good place to start when you want to consider gifting options as well. Remember, there’s a huge shift in the jewellery business with the rise of digital payments, as opposed to the conservative approach of shelling out cash to buy jewellery.

 Questions run through even as one weighs the gifting options available during the festive season.

 Wondering how do jewellers make a profit? Is buying solitaire a good investment?

 Turns out that the festive months offer a perfect setting for a flourishing jewellery segment in India. 

 However, this is not as simple as it sounds, given that buying or gifting jewellery is viewed as an important purchase by Indian consumers.

 It is no secret that Indians are known to opt for trusted brands when it comes to buying jewellery. Making beautiful jewellery accessible is an ambitious goal for most jewellery brands. To understand better, Financial Express Online reached out to CaratLane, a well-known jewellery  brand that has positioned itself as India’s largest online jewellery destination since its inception in 2008.

 To be sure, there is a great deal of ideation that backs its strategy for rolling out its signature jewellery-buying experience across all platforms. CaratLane’s Try at Home feature, for instance, facilitates customers to book an appointment to get their desired jewellery delivered at their doorsteps and try them at their own comfort. And there is no obligation to buy!

 A logical question emerges: Will shopping for jewellery at stores now see a clear decline?

 “Due to the pandemic, people became more comfortable with the digital world. While stores will always continue to play a big role in jewellery shopping, what is changing now is the adaptation of online discovery first, engaging with the brand on different digital mediums and then making the decision to either buy at a nearby store or online. Our services of CaratLane Live Video Calls, WhatsApp, etc allows customers to browse through online, get a better look at the jewellery and then make a choice,”  Avnish Anand, Co-Founder at CaratLane and  Chief Operating Officer tells Financial Express Online.

 He adds. “We’ve expanded our tube bracelets, mesh rings catalogue which is iconic in this segment. The flexi ring continues to be a winner. We’ve also launched adjustable bracelets and rings which resolves size issues and increases the trust of a customer while buying it.”

 An industry veteran with over 18 years of experience, Avnish Anand, Co-Founder at CaratLane and  Chief Operating Officer, shares with Financial Express Online how CaratLane geared up to meet the expectations of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Given that the festive shopping season is already in full swing, Avnish Anand observes that customers are looking to spend on products and experiences that are meaningful, bring joy and create lasting memories. 

 CaratLane’s Co-Founder and CEO further observes, “Jewellery in India has a special significance and is seen as one of the best gifting options in India. The wallet share for jewellery within the wedding segment has definitely shot up since people can’t spend on elaborate set ups and guest lists. Our solitaire segment has seen a boom, wedding gifts for the bride and groom, for the bridesmaids, has seen an increase. Jewellery will always remain as a valuable asset and with our designs for everyday wear, it makes it even more attractive to gift something that can be worn everyday and not just kept in lockers.”

 Online shopping is on the rise – what are the key trends you have observed during the pandemic and how different is it from the pre-pandemic period? 

 From a consumer standpoint, we had three major shifts. 

Larger wallet share 

With hospitality, travel based biz coming to a halt amidst the lockdown, it opened up a larger wallet share for jewellery since people didn’t have other avenues to spend. 

First time online buyers 

An added blessing for our category was when the delivery of non-essential goods resumed, we saw a rise in first time online buyers – people who were essentially doubtful of shopping online before – have now easily migrated to buying through our online stores. Initially, due to COVID-19, the business was largely driven by our repeat customers. Towards the second half, however, we saw new customers browsing and buying online. 

Our core audience buying online has always been females in the 28-45 age group. However, what’s impressive is the growth of 70-80% from the small towns as more and more customers are getting comfortable buying online and they have fewer options offline. 

This is largely due to CaratLane’s inherent digital nature and omni-channel enabled system that allows people to browse online, and choose to buy it at the store if need be. Or even opt for our other services such as Try At Home and LIVE. Buying through whatsapp channels and paying through UPI etc.

This is also a result of how people wanted to experience some little joy in some form, even in these trying times, and didn’t really have a reason to buy but didn’t mind doing so now.

Relevance 

Given that our category is also largely driven by occasions and milestones, people are still interested in celebrating these important dates, thereby continuing to keep jewellery relevant as an emotional need in their life.

From an industry perspective, the jewellery business always had less digital adoption but with the onset of COVID, there’s been a huge shift as more jewellery brands have started adopting a digital nature. Jewellery being a cash driven industry saw a rise in digital payments and other categories like fashion and cosmetics have also benefited from this phenomenon.

Are there specific categories in your inventory that have seen a significant rise in terms of sales? 

The pandemic has certainly changed how people spend money and as a result of this, our sub 40,000 jewellery category, kids jewellery and engagement rings have witnessed a significant rise in terms of sales. 

International sales have steadily grown with customers now sending gifts abroad and more people in the international market, especially USA, discovering and buying our jewellery.

 Simultaneously people who are browsing digitally are now getting more exposure to our 40k and above catalogue with our services like CL Live and via whatsapp channels.

 Is daily wear accessories and kids’ wear catching on in terms of momentum? 

 A very steady growth. Our jewellery across different price points is made for everyday wear. But more so our sub 40k which gives you the look and feel of a much larger piece but is light enough to wear everyday and light on the pocket.

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